André J. Thomas
André J. Thomas is the recently retired Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University. He was appointed Professor of Choral Conducting and Interim conductor of the Yale Camerata 2020-2021. A previous faculty member at the University of Texas, Austin, Dr. Thomas received his degrees from Friends University (B.A.), Northwestern University (M. M.), and the University of Illinois (D.M.A). He is in demand as a choral adjudicator, clinician, and director of Honor/All-State Choirs throughout North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and Africa.
Dr. Thomas has conducted choirs at the state, division, and national conventions of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). His international conducting credits are extensive. They include conductor/clinician for the International Federation of Choral Musicians’ summer residency of the World Youth Choir in China and the Philippines. He was also the conductor of the winter residency of the World Youth Choir in Europe, and a premier performance by an American Choir (Florida State University Singers) in Vietnam.
He has been the guest conductor of such distinguished ensembles as the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in England, the Berlin Radio Choir and the North German Radio Choir in Germany, the Netherlands Radio Choir, The Bulgarian Radio Choir and Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, China’s People’s Liberation Orchestra and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Since 1988, he has also served as Artistic Director of the Tallahassee Community Chorus.
Thomas has also distinguished himself as a composer/arranger. Hinshaw Music Company, Mark Foster Music Company, Fitzsimons Music Company, Lawson Gould, Earthsongs, Choristers Guild, and Heritage Music Company publish his compositions and arrangements.
Dr. Thomas has produced two instructional videos "What They See Is What You Get" on choral conducting, with Rodney Eichenberger, and "Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice" on adolescent voices, with Anton Armstrong. His recent book "Way Over in Beulah Lan’. Understanding and Performing the Negro Spiritual" has quickly become a major source in this area of study.
Thomas has been recognized by various musical organizations. The African Diaspora Sacred Music honored Dr. Thomas as a Living Legend. In 2011 Thomas’ dedication to and accomplishments in the choral arts were recognized by his peers in Chorus America when that organization presented Dr. Thomas with its Distinguished Service Award. In March of 2017 ACDA presented Thomas with its highest honor, The Robert Shaw Award, and in November of 2017 NCCO (National Collegiate Choral Organization) presented Thomas with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In January 2019 he was inducted into the Florida Music Educator’s Hall of Fame.
He is a past president of the Florida ACDA and the past president of the Southern Division of ACDA, and the current Vice President of National ACDA and the artistic Chairman of the 2021 National Convention.
Last Updated: 11/17/2021